New Age H1K Critter

New Age H1K Critter

After receiving Harry and pre-ordering the Path Finder-inspired H6B Max V2 I decided that I needed Critter as part of a New Age GoBots collection.

Critter is inspired by the version of Bug Bite that was included in the Botcon 2007 box set.

The Box

Critter’s box is based on the Generation 1 Decepticon packaging.

Critter box
Critter box back

In the box is the pistol (in silver this time!), jet pack (identical to Gremlin‘s) and instruction sheet.

Critter box contents

The molded details on the pistol are much easier to see in silver.

Critter pistol

The Robot

While I broke out the macro lens for Flipper, I never photographed alternate views of the robot mode.

Critter robot mode
Critter robot mode side
Robot mode with no kibble, so passe.
Critter robot mode back

A better job on the details than my copy of Flipper.

Critter face

According to Ben Yee, Lanny Lathem intended the tattoo as “a highly stylized version of the Decepticon insignia.”

Critter tatoo
Critter foot
Critter fist

The Volkswagen Bug

Like Flipper, Critter’s black shoulders stand out in vehicle mode but, with the black windows, they don’t clash as badly.

Critter vehicle mode

360 Degree Turnaround



Read about the rest of the Legendary Heroes
New Age H1 Flipper

New Age H1 Flipper

Ok I admit it: after receiving Harry, I’ve become a bit obsessed with New Age‘s Legendary Heroes line!

Although Flipper was my first New Age product I never had a chance to review it before Gremlin arrived so I’ve decided to correct that error.

The Box

The box is based on the packaging for Microchange (the source of the original Bumblebee mold) which is a nice tribute.

Flipper in box
Flipper box back

Unlike every other version of this mold (including the exclusive clear version) Flipper only includes the pistol and instructions there’s no jet pack here.

Flipper box contents
(Autobot symbol sold separately)

Just like the main figure, there are a lot of details on the tiny little pistol

Flipper pistol

The Robot

Flipper robot mode
(Autobot symbol sold separately)

The paint on my version isn’t great in this close-up but It’s not noticeable normally. Even with the flaws the sculpt is still impressive.

Flipper face

The Volkswagen Bug

The biggest flaw in the vehicle mode is that the black shoulders are extremely obvious and break up the door panels.

Flipper vehicle mode
(Autobot symbol sold separately)
Flipper vehicle mode rear view
(Autobot symbol sold separately)

Even though they don’t spin, the wheels are fully painted.

Flipper vehicle mode wheel

360 Degree Turnaround



Read about the rest of the Legendary Heroes
New Age H3 Harry

New Age H3 Harry

Harry (aka Prowl and, presumably, “Clean” Harry), the newest release from New Age‘s new legends-scaled line has arrived at Junkion HQ!

The Box

Harry comes in a Diaclone-inspired window box.

Harry box

Apparently the Autobot car-inspired releases are Ark Warriors while the mini-bot-inspired releases are Mini Warriors. Harry is also labeled as Alliance Military Strategist which is a designation the Mini Warriors lack.

Harry box back

In the box you get a rifle, two missile launchers and instructions.

Harry box contents

The Robot

One thing I really like about New Age’s products is that they feel very sturdy in hand which encourages you to spend time with them. I have plenty of third party products that are larger and more expensive that are both more fragile and less fun.

Harry robot mode

Harry is extremely well articulated! In addition to ball joints in the arms and hips, Harry also has thigh swivels and ankle tilts.

Harry articulation

New Age also didn’t skimp on the details, here’s a close-up of the amazing head sculpt.

Harry head

And the tiny details on the robot’s waist.

Harry robot mode waist

And now, fully armed!

Harry robot mode armed

The Fairlady Z

The biggest change with Harry is that, unlike Flipper, the wheels actually spin!

Harry vehicle mode

There are just so many details for such a small vehicle that I wanted to spend some extra time with the macro lens to really capture them all:

Harry front bumper
Hood logo and turn signals
Harry headlight
Head light
Harry vehicle mode windshield wipers
Windshield wipers
Harry door symbol
Door badge
Harry vehicle mode wheel
Fully painted rolling tires!
Harry tail lights
Tail lights

I’m amazed by the paint apps on this figure!

The Comparisons

Looking at Harry and Flipper in robot mode really shows off how much detail they put into this release.

Harry with Flipper
(Autobot symbols sold separately)

The vehicle mode continues the trend making Flipper (who really is a nicely painted figure) look plain by comparison.

Harry with Flipper vehicle mode
(Autobot symbols sold separately)

To give a better sense of scale, here’s Harry with Masterpiece Prowl.

Harry with Masterpiece Prowl
(Autobot symbols sold separately)

The Rest of the Legendary Warriors

At the 2018 Shanghai Wire Factory (SGC) show, New Age showed off sixteen different figures!

New Age Legendary Heroes Teaser
New Age’s Legendary Heroes line as shown at SGC 2018 (photo by Chicken Fritters on Weibo)

Heaven knows how long it will take to get all of these released but here is the full line up:

* I’m not actually sure which one is H2C and which one is H2W – I’m just guessing that W is for ShockWave. Corrected after TFcon 2019
** More guesswork: McCoy just seems to fit Ironhide better. Confirmed, TFcon 2019

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10161312005100014&set=gm.2252622164966626&type=3&theater
Check out ‎Daniel Bellido‎’s gallery of the event!

It’s unlikely, but I’m hoping that H10 ends up being their version of Optimus Prime for the MP-10 nomenclature symmetry.

The only disappointment that I can come up with for this line is that, by what we’ve seen for the pre-orders, it looks like they’re not giving the Max repaints unique names like they did with Gremlin and Critter. If that’s the worse thing that they do I’ll be very, very happy.

The Conclusion

I’ve never been a Legends-scale collector but I am now certainly a New Age collector. This line is just pure fun! Transforming them is a joy despite their diminutive size. I am really looking forward to their upcoming version of Cosmos and hope to hear more about their other releases very soon!

Harry with Flipper and Gremlin
(Autobot symbols sold separately)

360 Degree Turnaround



Read about the rest of the Legendary Heroes

X-Transbots MM-VI Boost (Toon V2)

My final 1984 Masterpiece mini-bot, Boost (aka Windcharger) has arrived at Junkion HQ!

The Box

The box featured a nice illustration of the figure in robot mode on the front and G1-style tech specs on the back.

Boost box

Unfortunately, they sealed the box with large “X-Transbots” decals that cover the edges of the tech specs.

Boost box back

In the box you’ll find a pistol, tractor beam attachment, toy visor with compatible head piece, trading card and instructions book.

Boost box contents

Another cool thing about the box is that it was designed to be displayed along side the box for mold-mate Hatch. The front of the box is actually a single illustration of both figures and the back shares a line drawing of the robot mode.

Boost and Hatch boxes
Boost and Hatch boxes back

The Robot

Boost robot mode

The robot mode looks great but the transformation has a lot of steps that require parts to be precisely positioned. When transforming the arms you can’t just fold out the hands, you have to manipulate the hand around a raised edge on the forearm starting with the thumb then spinning it so that the palm clears the edge. The feet are an even more awkward with multiple parts that have to be positioned just right before everything can be rotated into place. I’m not sure I’ve managed to do it in the correct sequence yet, I usually just fiddle with it until the pieces finally fall into place.

Boost tractor beam
Boost with his TOE* tractor beam from The Ultimate Doom.

The Trans-Am

Windcharger’s G1 vehicle mode was not nearly as deformed as Cliffjumper‘s or even Bumblebee‘s retaining a similar basic shape as a classic Trans-Am so it is much less of change to see such a realistic vehicle mode.

Boost vehicle mode

One thing I always appreciate is having a place to store weapons while in vehicle mode. Boost can not only store his pistol but also his tractor beam between the rear wheels.

Boost vehicle mode weapon storage

The Masterpiece

X-Transbots did a good job matching Boost with MP-21, on display they certainly look like they are from the same line.

Boost with Bumblebee robot mode
(Autobot symbol sold separately)

In vehicle mode, Boost fits right in too.

Boost with Bumblebee vehicle mode
(Autobot symbol sold separately)

The Conclusion

I ordered this set as soon as the pre-order appeared in June 2018, long before I even knew there would be multiple versions. As it turns out, I got the one I would have picked anyways! The chrome legs on the other two versions wouldn’t really fit with the rest of my Masterpiece collection.

Boost with Bumblebee robot mode
(Autobot symbol sold separately)

* That One Episode” – the obligatory accessory that the character used once in the cartoon.

Masterpiece Showcase: Part 2 – 1984 Decepticon Cassettes

Masterpiece Showcase: Part 2 – 1984 Decepticon Cassettes

One thing that I was never able to do the first time around was to “collect them all” and gather all of the figures shown in the catalogs. With the Masterpiece line however, I’m finally able to work towards that goal with modern updates of the original figures.

The evil Decepticons fool you as cassettes, but they transform to either a jaguar, condor or robots! - 19) Rumble/Ravage 20) Frenzy/Laserbeak - Decepticon Cassettes
Soundwave’s minions!

Like Soundwave, the original cassettes were from MicroChange and transformed into a 1:1 scale micro-cassettes. Sadly, I don’t think we’ll ever get a modern set of alt modes that work as well as these. The Titans Return tablets worked on a technical level but didn’t really look like real-world tablets and there was no explanation as to why you would be inserting them into something else. I suppose, to make it more relatable, you could make Soundwave into a car carrier and his minions cars but you loose that special relationship. To keep the relationship, you could make Soundwave into a Drobo enclosure and the cassettes into hard drives but it’s not very relatable to most people.

All of the 1984 Decepticons cassettes came out in 2013 shortly after Soundwave so this is another easy to complete step of my Masterpiece collection completion plan.

1984 Cassettes

19) Rumble and Ravage

Rumble and Ravage

MP-13 Rumble

Rumble (yes, he’s red) came in a two-pack with Ravage.

Rumble robot mode
Rumble cassette mode

The most poseable of the Masterpiece cassettes, the robots feature several ball joints.

Rumble poseability

To recreate his trademark special power, Rumble includes a set of pile drivers that mount on his arms.

Rumble with pile drivers

Both backpack rifles can be stored within the pile drivers when not in use.

Rumble weapon storage

There’s also an accessory that allows you to mount the pile drivers to the robot’s back, but mine is packed away somewhere.

MP-13 Jaguar

Ravage (Jaguar in Japan), like the condors, features a fully integrated transformation where the missiles fold into the cassette mode.

Jaguar
Can’t loose these missiles!
Jaguar cassette mode

Another feature of the new design is that head splits and includes a flip-out nose which is very easy to miss during transformation.

Ravage nose

20) Frenzy and Laserbeak

Frenzy and Laserbeak

MP-16 Frenzy

For some inexplicable reason, Frenzy comes with blue versions of Rumble’s pile drivers, mine never left the box.

Frenzy robot mode
Frenzy cassette mode

MP-13 Condor

Too famous to wait, Laserbeak (Condor in Japan) was released along with Soundwave.

Laserbeak condor mode
Laserbeak cassette mode

_) Enemy

Not featured in the catalog, Enemy was part (literally, it was glued to the front!) of a Transformers AM radio available in 1984. The Masterpiece version was released as part of MP-15/16E.

Enemy Robot Mode
Rumble is red and so am I!
Enemy Cassette Mode

Additional Reading

Third-Party Alternatives

As mentioned in part 1, Ocular Max has a series of larger cassettes for any of you who feel that these are too small and don’t mind that they don’t fit inside Soundwave.


Read the Entire Series

Masterpiece Collection Showcase

Masterpiece Showcase: Part 1 – 1984 Decepticon Communicator

Masterpiece Showcase: Part 1 – 1984 Decepticon Communicator

One thing that I was never able to do the first time around was to “collect them all” and gather all of the figures shown in the catalogs. With the Masterpiece line however, I’m finally able to work towards that goal with modern updates of the original figures.

Soundwave, disguised as a cassette recorder, locates and identifies Autobots, then informs other Decepticons of their whereabouts. His cassette changes to a golden condor! - 24) Soundwave/Buzzsaw - Decepticon Communicator
So cool in 1984, so unidentifiable to anyone under 30.

The original Soundwave toy was borrowed from MicroChange where tiny robots transformed into common household objects. In this case, “Cassette Man” transformed into a 1:1 scale micro-cassette recorder. Micro-cassettes were not very common in the US so it was usually presumed that he was supposed to be a full size audio cassette player.

Admittedly, the “Decepticon Communicator” category is pretty easy to complete since it consists of only two figures:

Soundwave and Buzzsaw catalog view

24) Soundwave and Buzzsaw

Unlike the original, Masterpiece Soundwave came with Condor (aka Laserbeak) while Buzzsaw was released in a two-pack with Frenzy.

MP-13 Soundwave

Despite being released in 2013, Soundwave is still an impressive figure even though it is not as pose-able as the MP-36-style Masterpiece designs.

Soundwave robot mode

The Masterpiece version is compatible with most cassettes from 1984 as well as the Masterpiece versions. In fact, he can now hold three cassette minions, besting the previous record holder, G1 SoundBlaster, which was a Japan-exclusive remold of Soundwave for 1987 that held two cassettes.

Soundwave with Ratbat in his deck
Still rocking the micro-cassette scale!
Soundwave tape deck mode

Similar to how the G1 toy could store his weapons in his “battery compartment”, Masterpiece Soundwave’s weapons store in the back of the tape deck mode.

Soundwave tape deck mode back view

MP-16 Buzzsaw

The best part about this mold is that it features a fully integrated transformation where the booster packs fold into the cassette mode.

Buzzsaw condor mode
Can’t loose these accessories!
Buzzsaw cassette mode

As a Masterpiece, Buzzsaw is much more pose-able than the original.

Buzzsaw sitting up
Now featuring “sitting up” action!
Soundwave launching Buzzsaw
Buzzsaw eject!

Third Party Alternative

Ocular Max has released a larger version of Buzzsaw called Buzzard scaled so that the alt mode is the size of a normal cassette rather than a micro-cassette. However, since for me a lot of the fun is the interaction, I haven’t really paid much attention to it.


Read the Entire Series

Masterpiece Collection Showcase

BadCube OTS-9 Grump

BadCube just reissued their version of Masterpiece Gears – the final BadCube mini-bot that I need for my 1984 Autobots!

The Box

Grump box

The traditional BadCube box comes in red and blue to mirror the figure inside. When I first saw these boxes I thought they were plain, but I have to admit that they’ve grown on me.

Grump box contents

Inside the box you get a trading card, instructions, pistol and TOE* personality card and welder.

Grump personality card

The personality card is detailed to look like a VHS tape.

Grump with personality card

The card fits very tightly into the chest, I had to use a small pair of pliers to get it back out.

The Figure

Grump robot mode

Grump has a lot of personality and looks like he just stepped out of the cartoon.

Grump smiling
Happy to help Megatron, good buddy!

Grump’s head contains both faces. The whole face folds up and everything below the eyebrow spins.

The Truck

Grump vehicle mode

Just like Slick, locking Grump’s chest piece in place for vehicle mode is challenging but, due to the quarter panels being attached to the hood, not quite as difficult.

The Mold Mate

Grump with Slick
(Autobot symbol sold separately)

Although I usually don’t display Slick with his wheels out, it does help differentiate the two versions.

Grump with Slick vehicle mode
(Autobot symbol sold separately)

Not much difference in vehicle mode besides the colors, as it should be.

The Masterpiece

Grump with Bumblebee

Beside Bumblebee, Grump’s vehicle mode doesn’t look nearly as realistic.

Grump with Bumblebee vehicle mode

The Conclusion

Grump with MP mini-bots
(Autobot symbols sold separately)

I was pretty happy with Slick and am just as happy with Grump. He looks great with the rest of the mini-bots. Now I just need my X-Transbots Boost to arrive to complete the set!


* That One Episode” – the obligatory accessory that the character used once in the cartoon.

Transform and Rollout TR-01 Agent Meister

Transform and Rollout’s first release, TR-01 Agent Meister (aka Masterpiece Jazz and the robot formerly known as Hova) has arrived at JunkionHQ!

Agent Meister box

Inside the box you’ll find Jazz’s signature rifle, two speakers, his TOE* winch, instructions and a trading card.

Agent Meister box contents

The Robot

The robot looks great however, the transformation has a couple of rough points. The worst is how the shoulders have to be twisted into place to lock into two indents on the underside of the hood which feels very awkward. So awkward in fact that I haven’t tried the alternate toy-accurate mode (where the wheels sit above the shoulders) for fear of over stressing them. Also, the wheel wells on his calves don’t lock into place and can shift during posing, as they have in the following photo.

Agent Meister robot mode

The cone speakers post into the back of each shoulder and the hip flaps fold out to reveal a second set of speakers.

Agent Meister with speakers
Ready to rock and roll!
Agent Meister grappling hook
Grappling hook deployed!

The Porsche

Agent Meister vehice mode

One of the things I really liked about this version of Jazz is the vehicle mode, which is spot on with all of the original livery.

Agent Meister vehice mode

One of the best parts of the vehicle mode is the back end which is problematic on both ToyWorld’s Coolsville (which has a big black bulge under the rear bumper) and Make Toys Downbeat (which has a weird dropped rear bumper).

Agent Meister vehice mode back end

A True Masterpiece

Agent Meister vehicle mode with Sideswipe

Meister really fits in well with Masterpiece Sideswipe!

Agent Meister with Sideswipe

The Conclusion

Quite a promising start for Transform and Rollout. I love the look of the figure in both modes and am happy to have this as my official Masterpiece Jazz!

My biggest gripe is that the ankle tilt is so slight that it makes dynamic poses difficult. Oddly enough, this kind of works too since it puts him in the same possibility class as Sideswipe.

Agent Meister with rifle

I have heard some people complain about having the entire car hood sticking out of his chest. For me, it reminds me of the original figure so, instead of a flaw, I see it as a nostalgic nod to G1. Take a look and judge for yourself:

Agent Meister chest side view

* That One Episode” – the obligatory accessory that the character used once in the cartoon.

52Toys BeastBOX Dio BB-01 B.B.P.D.

I’ve been curious about this series from 52toys for a while now and finally decided to add it to an order and try it out.

DIO B.B.P.D box

Although this is the police themed version of Dio, the packaging still shows the original yellow paint job.

DIO B.B.P.D box contents

In the box you’ll find the figure, in cube mode, an Internal Structure display (which you can see through the window on the box) and a catalog of other releases in the line.

DIO B.B.P.D instructions

The, very simple, instructions are printed on the back of the box along with a teaser showing three of the other figures in the series.

The Dinosaur

DIO B.B.P.D

Dino mode is nicely designed and fun. The neck is double jointed and ends In a ball joint and the head mounted on that joint features a jaw that opens quite wide.

DIO B.B.P.D crouched
“Roar”

Although the toes and heels are articulated in a way that could allow for dynamic poses, the hips and knees get in the way.

DIO B.B.P.D posed

The Cube (aka “Mech-Box”)

DIO B.B.P.D cube mode
Fits easily on a pallet.

The “Mech-Box” is understandably busy with a large gap underneath. Really more of a “ready to ship” mode than an alternate mode.

The Rest of the Line

As mentioned above, there is a pack-in catalog showing off the entire line.

BeastBOX catalog front

As you can see above, since Dio comes in eleven different versions, the front of the catalog is dominated by this single mold. The only other figure on this side is BB-02, Ghostdog, which is the same figure with a new head.

BeastBOX catalog back

The back of the catalog is where things get more interesting:

  • BB-03, Jojo, a gorilla that comes in four styles
  • BB-04, Moma (aka Elephinx), a mammoth that comes in five different styles
  • BB-05, Delta (aka Vanguard), a triceratops that comes in four styles.
  • MB-01 – an officially licensed Alien figure complete with face hugger!

Not featured in this catalog are:

  • BB-06, Rhyden, a clockwork rhinoceros
  • BB-07, Bohemoth, a hippopotamus
  • BB-08 IceQube which splits into four penguins
  • And a variety of repaints including camouflaged jungle versions

The Conclusion

Overall, I really like this figure and am thinking about getting more from the series.

Here he is with Siege Sideswipe and Masterpiece Prowl for a sense of scale.

DIO B.B.P.D with Siege Sideswipe
DIO B.B.P.D with Masterpiece Prowl
Deploying with the Highway Patrol!
New Age H1G Gremlin

New Age H1G Gremlin

New Age‘s Gremlin “gold” repaint of their Flipper mini-bot has arrived at Junkion HQ.

Gremlin in box

In the box is an extremely tiny pistol, jet pack and instructions sheet.

Gremlin box contents

Like the original G1 Goldbug, Gremlin is more of a mustard yellow than a gold.

The VW Bug

The only drawback with the vehicle mode is that it lacks rolling wheels.

Gremlin vehicle mode

The Robot

This is a super fun little figure!

Gremlin robot mode

It’s very poseable for its size and has a great intuitive transformation.

Gremlin with pistol

Unlike Flipper, Gremlin includes the jet pack from Dinobot Island.

Gremlin jet pack

The Comparisons

This is not my first New Age mini-bot: I picked up Flipper a while back but never got the chance to review it. This where the clever transformation really shines. Because of how the rear window transforms it allows Gremlin to have a Throttlebot-style hood and hides that kibble for Flipper.

Gremlin with Flipper robot mode
(Autobot symbol sold separately)

Flipper has one big flaw in vehicle mode compared to Gremlin, his black shoulders stand out awkwardly just under the side windows.

Gremlin with Flipper vehicle mode
(Autobot symbol sold separately)

Not having one of his own, Flipper has to borrow Gremlin’s jet pack to recreate TOE*.

Flipper with jet pack
(Autobot symbol sold separately))

360 Degree Turnaround


* That One Episode” – the obligatory accessory that the character used once in the cartoon.



Read about the rest of the Legendary Heroes